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Rhode Island: Ethics commission investigates campaign contributions to A.G.

AP reports: The state Ethics Commission has agreed to look into a complaint against Rhode Island's attorney general about campaign donations he accepted from a lawyer for DuPont Co. while he was negotiating to drop the company from a lawsuit.

The commission will conduct a preliminary investigation to decide if there is evidence to launch a full-scale probe of Attorney General Patrick Lynch, said Dianne Leyden, staff attorney for the Ethics Commission.

The complaint was filed last week by Bill Harsch, a Republican who is running for attorney general in November. Harsch has called the contributions and the state's deal with DuPont "completely inappropriate." ...

The complaint accuses Lynch of influence peddling and conflict of interest for accepting $4,250 in campaign contributions from several people with ties to DuPont, including attorney Bernard Nash and his wife, who gave Lynch's campaign a total of $2,500.

Nash, an attorney hired by DuPont, has said there was nothing improper about the donations.

Nash was the company's chief negotiator of a deal in which it was dismissed from the state's lead paint lawsuit in exchange for charitable donations totaling about $12.5 million. -- Rhode Island Attorney General Investigated

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